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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Late Dynastic Period : Faience Ushabti
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Faience Ushabti - PH.0235
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 664 AD to 524 AD

Collection: Egyptian Art
Style: Late kingdom


Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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Description
Ushabti were funerary figurines placed in tombs among the grave goods in Ancient Egypt and were intended to act as servant figures that carried out the tasks required of the deceased in the underworld. Very often they carry inscriptions in hieroglyphs typically concentrated on the lower part of the body, which is important because of the ancient Egyptian belief that anything written down was true and was thought to change wishes and thoughts into actions. Therefore, it was necessary for the owner's name to be inscribed on an ushabti, along with a phrase sending the ushabti into action. Additionally, early ushabtis were sometimes made from wax, though later figurines were often made of less perishable materials such as stone, terracotta, metal, glass and, most frequently, glazed earthenware (faiance). The practice of using ushabtis originated in the Old Kingdom (c. 2600 to 2100 BCE) with the use of life-sized reserve heads made from limestone, which were buried with the mummy. Most ushabtis were small in size and produced in multiples; sometimes they were thus numerous as to fill the floor of the chamber around the sarcophagus. Exceptional ushabtis are of larger size and were produced as a one of-a- kind master work. The usbabti in our collection dates to the Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt, which was the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 B.C. The dynasty's reign (664–525 BC) is also called the Saite Period after the city of Sais, where pharaohs had their capital, and marks the beginning of the Late Period of ancient Egypt. - (PH.0235)

 

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